Chemistry of Hot Spring Pool Waters in Calamba and Los Banos and Potential Effect on the Water Quality of Laguna De Bay
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Since the Spanish Period (1600s), natural hot spring waters have been harnessed for balneological purposes in the municipalities of Calamba and Los Banos, Laguna, south of Metro Manila. There are at more than a hundred hot spring resorts in Brgy. Pansol, Calamba and Tadlac, Los Banos. These two areas are found at the northern flanks of Mt. Makiling facing Laguna de Bay. This study aims to provide some insights on the physical and chemical characteristics of hot spring resorts and the possible impact on the lake water quality resulting from the disposal of used water. Initial ocular survey of the resorts showed that temperature of the pool water ranges from ambient (>300C) to as high as 500C with an average pool size of 80m3. Water samples were collected from a natural hot spring and pumped well in Los Banos and another pumped well in Pansol to determine the chemistry. The field pH ranges from 6.65 to 6.87 (Pansol springs). Cation analysis revealed that the thermal waters belonged to the Na-K-Cl-HCO3 type with some trace amount of heavy metals. Methods for waste water disposal are either by direct discharge down the drain of the pool or by discharge in the public road canal. Both methods will dump the waste water directly into Laguna de Bay. Taking in consideration the large volume of waste water used especially during the peak season, the effect on the lake water quality would be significant. It is therefore imperative for the environmental authorities in Laguna to regulate and monitor the chemistry of discharges from the pool to protect both the lake water as well as groundwater quality.